Clarify Your Stand On Anenih's Statement: Atiku Campaign Challenges Jonathan
ABUJA, Jan 01, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan has been challenged to clarify his stand on the threat by Chief Tony Anenih to “fish out” and deal with Niger Delta indigenes that vote former Vice President and presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar during the forthcoming PDP primaries.
A statement by the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organization in Abuja Friday expressed disbelief that Anenih could make such threat to delegates in the presence of President Jonathan at the South-South delegates and stakeholders’ conference in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The statement noted that President Jonathan’s silence amounts to tacit acceptance of Chief Anenih’s position on using sentimental blackmail to scare delegates from the Niger Delta region from voting freely for whomever they want during the impending January 13, 2011 PDP presidential primaries.
According to the statement, the silence of President Jonathan is sending the wrong signals to other geo-political zones that may be compelled to vote for their own because Anenih has threatened to punish Niger Delta delegates if they vote for any aspirant other than Jonathan.
“By keeping silent on this dangerously divisive politics of ethnic loyalty, President Jonathan has confirmed that he is incapable of rising above primordial sentiments and leading a diverse and populous country like Nigeria,” it said.
The Atiku Campaign recalled that during the 2008 American presidential campaign, President Barack Obama (who was then Senator Barack Obama) distanced himself from the leader of his Church, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright for allegedly promoting racial sentiments to heat up the campaign.
It noted that if President Jonathan does not have the courage to do the same thing over Anenih’s comments, then his commitment to free and fair elections in 2011 is a sham.
The statement argued that freedom of choice is the soul of democracy and that, where delegates are under threat over who they should vote for, democracy itself is mortally threatened.